Sometimes it surprises me how some people treat other people. Sometimes we justify it, saying that it’s not that bad. When kids are bullied, we tend to say, “All kids are bullied,” or, “it happened to me when I was their age.” When we’re mistreated, we tend to say, “Oh, they mean well, but they just don’t understand.”
Quite frankly, I call bull crap on that, “Oh, they mean well,” thing. If you treat a person like dirt, there’s really not an excuse. You can make a conscious choice to treat someone better than you do. I was treated poorly for a long time and a lot of the time I didn’t even realize that I was being treated poorly. I wrote off these moments as joking or personality, when in reality, these moments were hurtful and mean.
I went for years, having almost everything I did, or said, be ridiculed in some manner. If I exercised, it wasn’t doing much at all because I wasn’t running faster, or for longer, or because I wasn’t sweating more. If I watched a show that I liked, artfully directed and portrayed, it was a stupid show. If I liked a funny video, it was childish. If I liked a ghost show, it was Satanic. If I cleaned, it wasn’t clean enough. It was my fault if XYZ thing was done to me. This went on for years, and while I wasn’t physically beaten, I was trodden down mentally. Nothing I ever did was right, or enough. It didn’t matter how hard I tried.
Fast-forward to today, I’m treated well. I’m treated great. I’m treated as if my opinions matter. I’m treated as if I’m smart, which I am, very smart. I’m treated as if I’m beautiful. My interests and endeavors are worthy. I’m not treated as an inferior. I’m not treated like a child. I’m not constantly told that things I’m interested in are weird, stupid, or too much. I’m not always told my efforts are too little. I am appreciated for what I do.
This is a stark contrast to how my life used to be. Part of me has a hard time with this. I know not everyone is the same, specifically men, and I know that not all men will treat me the same. They don’t treat me the same. I’ve had wonderful treatment from men, since I’ve been dating again. I’ve only had one or two people who even said anything remotely mean to me out of a lot of people who I’ve talked to. Even though I know this, sometimes I still have trouble realizing that some people actually know how to treat other people.
I was conditioned to believe that being treated like a person wasn’t a thing that happened in relationships, but it is. I’m treated as if I’m more than a person actually. I’m treated like I matter. Kindness isn’t begrudgingly given to me. In turn, I try my absolute best to treat my man-friend(man not boy) with the most humanity and respect that I can muster. Treating another person like a person goes a long way.